Thursday, December 12, 2013


When the Pope posted a selfie – self-portrait – a lot of people were stunned. Thankfully, he didn’t make a silly face. I must admit, when I see some of the silly and strange selfies my teenage granddaughters post on line I’m puzzled and confused. Why would you want your friends and all those Facebook people to see you with your tongue sticking out? Okay, I get it. They do it because they can and it becomes a competition to see who can post the silliest pictures.
            I’m post pictures on Facebook too. It’s fun to share pictures of me with my grandchildren, book signings, and other events in my life. But eventually, you reach a point where the pictures must be culled down. Many that were funny or important at the time seem a waste of space a month or so later. How many pictures do I really need of my blooming azaleas? They bloom every year after all.
         The best part of selfies is that you are in them. Those are the ones friends and family will want to keep. When my father died, my brother and I had to dispose of his belongings. Our dad loved to take pictures. He had several cameras and hundreds of albums filled with snap shots. He did a fair amount of traveling and he took pictures of everything. Literally.
         When we started going through the pictures we made an interesting discovery. Of the thousands of pictures he’d taken over the years, we would only be keeping a small fraction. Why? Because he wasn’t in most of them. We only wanted to keep pictures of our dad. We found a few of him standing in front of the dude ranch he visited. One of him on a horse. A few of him beside a sign declaring his location. Unfortunately most of the pictures he took were of trees, mountains, prairies, sunrises and sunsets, rivers and snow scenes. Are you seeing a pattern here? We ended up tossing out all his pictures. The scenery had no value to us. Only his image.
            I came home and started sorting through my own collection of pictures. I found the same problem. Too many pictures of flowers, the Christmas tree at various angles, and my kids playing ball, but from such a distance that you couldn’t distinguish one boy from the other.
So the next time you’re on vacation, make sure you take enough pictures with you as the center piece. Those pix of the Washington monument are fine for your own memory, but unless you’re in the photo your kids won’t keep them. Give your family memories and pictures they will want to keep. Mom and dad at Disney world, Grandma and Grandpa in front of the Grand Canyon, brother and wife at Mardi Gras.

They’ll thank you for it.

Lorraine Beatty is a multi-published, bestselling author born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She and husband Joe have two grown sons and five grandchildren. Lorraine started writing in Junior High and has written for trade books, newspapers, and company newsletters. She is a member of RWA, ACFW and is a charter member, and past President of Magnolia State Romance Writers. Away from writing she sings in her church choir, loves to garden, spend time with her grandchildren, and travel. I love to hear from my readers. Visit her at

Plantation Christmas Weddings. A collection of four inspirational contemporary romances set in four antebellum homes in Natchez, Mississippi.


Gail Kittleson said...

I hear you on the pics w/people in them Lorraine, and agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for your post.


Caroline said...

Great reminder that's what interesting and important to us may not be so to our children. Take stock and act accordingly! Thanks!

Sherry Carter said...

I became aware of this when my Mom died. She was the picture-taker in our family, so we have very few pictures of her. That's changed my perspective and I try to be sure I'm in front of the camera as often as I'm behind it. Pictures of beautiful scenery mean little to our kids unless someone they love is in them.

Selfies aren't prideful to our children!

Patti Shene said...

I try to include people in the photos I take, but like many of us, I have dozens of the mountains, the lake, the Christmas tree with not a single soul nearby!

Over the past several months, my husband has had wounds that needed treated. I've been taking photos to show the progress of healing for when we go see the doctor. I've often thought if I lost my phone and someone ever found it and checked those photos, they'd think, "what kind of gruesome weirdo is this anyway?"

Claude Nougat said...

Most interesting post and a good reminder of what's important in life. I thought you were going to denigrate the amount of "noise" we get on Facebook with all those silly pictures of friends and family - way too many ! - then you veered into another direction, quite unexpected for me. But I do agree with you, I've always felt that pictures of places visited without the friends or family that went on the visit are a waste of time...

Actually, I've always included hubby to give a sense of space/size of the monuments visited etc and a sense of intimacy, as if to say, we saw this and liked it! Otherwise, well, everybody who's been to Rome has seen the Colosseum and St Peter's and there's not much point in photographing those, now, is there?

So yes, you're right, most of our souvenir photos are good for the bin!

Haddock said...

Agree with you. Some of the selfies are real stupid.
One of the reason for selfies is that there is no one to click for them so they do it themselves (especially tourists)
I like those sticks that come now a days where you can attach the camera at the end and click yourself. At least it gives a decent face.